The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late - by Michael Ellsberg

Your success and happiness in life has to do with your drive, your initiative, your persistence, your ability to make a contribution to other people's lives, your ability to come up with good ideas and pitch them to others effectively, your charisma, your ability to navigate gracefully through social and business networks (what some researchers call "practical intelligence"), and a total, unwavering belief in your own eventual triumph, throughout all the ups and downs, no matter what the naysayers tell you.

Unlike a gambling addict, [entrepreneurs] have consciously cultivated a lifestyle of resilience. They are ready to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, adjust course, and try something else when they fail. That is the essence of learning. Without failure, there is no learning.

If you want to be successful, and make a huge impact in your life, find exceptional people to learn from, and surround yourself with them.

If you want to succeed, find leaders who are doing amazing things in the world, and push them up. Find powerful people and help them reach their goals. If you're of service to them, they will be of service back.

Connection capital is anything that can help you expand your network of connections (your "tribe," as Seth Godin calls it), and is not significantly used up in expanding this network. The two biggest forms of connection capital are (a) your already-existing connections and (b) your ability to give good advice.

I'm going to teach you two questions that, if you put them into use at parties, events, and conferences, will change your life forever and will grow your network faster than you ever thought possible:

  1. What's most exciting for you right now in your life/ business?

  2. What's challenging for you in your life/business right now?

I often find that when I ask these questions of people whom I'd like to mentor or guide me, I have insights, resources, or connections that could help them in the area of whatever they answer. Whatever the answers to these questions are, I listen attentively and compassionately, and if I know of someone or something useful to these causes or issues, I recommend it. I am constantly seeking out ways I can be of service to the people I talk with, in ways that are meaningful and impactful to them.

The Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Charles Green, and Robert Galford, and Networking with the Affluent by Thomas J. Stanley, two of the best books on high-integrity, no-sleaze connecting I've read.

The more value that flows in and out of our lives, the more we and others benefit, and the more affluence is generated.

Give give give. Give give give. Give give give. Give generously within your network, and to people you hope will be in your network one day. Always inquire within yourself, and within your deepest creativity, how you can be of greater service. Without keeping track and without concern for a specific quid pro quo.

"Everybody loves to give advice. If you ask someone in a genuine way to sit down with you, talk to you, give you advice, most people are happy to do it. It's shocking how few people go and ask for advice. If you call someone and say, ‘Hey, I love what you're doing, I think it's incredible. I'd love your advice on something,' most people will sit down and give you advice and talk with you and mentor you. But most people just never do that."

Your brand is what people think about when they hear your name.

"You're going to have days when you don't reach your goals. And it's OK to be negative sometimes. But not for more than five minutes. You've got to live by the five-minute rule. Bitch, moan, complain, vent, get it out of your system, whatever you've got to do. But just for five minutes. Beyond that, there's no benefit to dwelling on it. Instead, focus 100 percent of your energy on what's in your control. What can you do now? How can you learn and benefit from the experience? How can you move forward?"

"There are two decisions you need to come to in order to be free, and to be more effective. First is that you are not entitled to anything in the world, until you create value for another human being first. Second, you are 100 percent responsible for producing results. No one else. If you adopt those two views, you will go far."

Entrepreneurial Mindset

  • Focusing on Contribution versus Focusing on Entitlement

  • Focusing on Outcome versus Focusing on Output

  • Sorting for What's Needed versus Sorting for What's Requested

  • Work Yourself Out of a Job--Don't Work to Protect Your Job

  • Go Toward Big Decisions, Even Without Authority

  • See Your Circumstances as Illusory and Temporary, Not Real and Permanent

If you always asked yourself how you could make a greater and higher-leveraged contribution to the people you work with and the situations you find yourself in; if you focused like a laser on actual outcome of the projects you're involved with, rather than the output of your time and effort; if you were relentless about taking care of what's actually needed in your workplace or team, rather than just doing what was requested of you; if you started running toward the big decisions in your organization, rather than away from them, whether or not your job description called for it; if you became a diligent student of the ways in which social reality is more flexible and malleable, and less predetermined, than you think it is--if you did all these things, is there any chance you would come out behind?

"Tell me something that you think is true that very few people agree with."